Music Students Invited to Enter Youth Concerto Competition

TUCSON, AZ – Student musicians are invited to apply for the 2014 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra.

Prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded. In addition, the judges may select one of the winners for the Performance Award – an opportunity to solo with the orchestra in concerts on April 5 and 6.

The annual competition is open to high school students who play any orchestral instrument, including piano. The application deadline is Feb. 7. The competition will be held in Tucson on March 1 and 2.

To enter, students age 13 to 18 should complete an online application form and prepare one movement from a standard concerto for solo instrument and orchestra. Music should be memorized. Students under age 13 may apply if recommended by their teacher. Submit applications online at

The competition, named for longtime arts patron Dorothy Vanek, is designed to recognize and support outstanding young musicians in the community, encouraging them to polish performance skills and build real-life experience. Vanek is SASO’s season sponsor. One of her passions is nurturing the next generation of classical musicians.

University High School junior Benjamin Nead won the 2013 competition and performed selections from Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor. Previous first-place winners include pianist Joyce Yang, a Desert View High School student from Phoenix, 2012; cellist Sara Page, a University High School student, 2011, and cellist Nicholas Mariscal, also a University High School senior, 2010.

Founded in 1979, SASO has grown into a vital community resource that unites performers and audiences through a mutual love of music. The orchestra presents a wide range of compositions including world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and popular classics. SASO brings together student, amateur and professional musicians with exceptional soloists, composers and conductors. Under the baton of Music Director Linus Lerner, this community orchestra has toured China twice and performed at the inaugural Oaxaca Opera Festival in Mexico the summer of 2013. SASO presents five concerts each season in two locations, plus special events and outreach presentations. For more information, visit or call 308-6226.

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